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2018-19 Player Review: Brandon Dubinsky has bad regular season before an unexpected playoff resurgence

Dubinsky, bad for most of the season, suddenly became one of the most valuable players on the roster in the playoffs.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Pro: Brandon Dubinsky won 57.1% of his faceoffs in 2018-19, the best mark he’s had since 2012-13.

Con: uh, the rest of his season, I guess? He at least played half decent in the role he was asked to play, however limited it was, but he still should have probably contributed more.

Brandon Dubinsky suffered his worst season as a pro to that point in his career in 2017-18. His ice time slipped, he suffered a major orbital bone injury, and was sent home from Vegas by the team. He spent the offseason working to continue to be a viable pro and contribute to a winning roster.

In 2018-19, Dubinsky played mostly 4th line minutes as he averaged just over 12 minutes per game. He played significant time on the penalty kill and saw just 20.3% of his starts come in the offensive zone - he was used mainly as a defensive forward to kill penalties and to see games out.

Dubsinky did not cause trouble despite this reduction in his role. He was a good soldier, doing what was asked even as he saw career lows in ice time, points, and shots on goal. Dubinsky did post great faceoff numbers and was instrumental on the penalty kill and in late game situations as the team worked to see out late leads.

Dubinsky played well for his role. His time on the Blue Jackets may be limited by a combination of his own declining skill and the challenges of fending off younger players in the Blue Jackets system. However, for as long as Dubinsky is in union blue, however, coaches and fans can count on him to work his ass off in whatever role he’s asked to play without complaint and be an emotional leader for the guys in the room.

His Twitter remains fire, though.

2018-19 Brandon Dubinsky Stats

Games played: 61
Goals: 6
Assists: 8
Points: 14
Time on ice: 12:21
Penalty Minutes: 36
Corsi For (even strength): 45.2%

2018-19 Playoff Stats

Games played: 10
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
Points: 1
Time on ice: 13:07
Penalty Minutes: 6
Corsi For (even strength): 38.8%

Brandon Dubinsky’s Contract Status

(Contract status via

Brandon Dubinsky is a prime candidate for a buyout this summer. If bought out when the window opens on June 15, 2019, Dubinsky’s remaining two years would be stretched to four years. The team would save $3.9 million total, and would carry a $1.95 million hit over each of the next four years.

With only 14 points in 2018-19 to go along with 20 games lost to injury (hamstring and hip related), it is clear that Father Time is catching up to the 33 year old. If Dubinsky is bought out, he gave the Jackets seven solid years and was an emotional leader for the club during its first steps into the forefront of the National Hockey League over the last three seasons.

Here’s a comprehensive look at what a Dubinsky buyout would cost the team against the cap over the next four years.

High Point

Brandon Dubinsky played quite well in the playoffs. The underlying numbers may not show it, and that’s fine. The eye test did. Dubinsky’s line was dominant in the first three games of the second round series of the Boston Bruins, creating chances, flustering the Patrice Bergeron line, and playing excellent defensively and on the penalty kill.

Dubinsky was great in that series, even as Columbus fell in six games.

Low Point

Brandon Dubinsky’s month of March was tough. His struggles culminated in a road trip to western Canada where he played just 15:08 total in trips to Calgary and Edmonton (6:28 vs the Flames, 8:40 vs the Oilers). In these two games, as the frustrations of the team hit a high point down the stretch as the Jackets fought for a playoff position, Dubinsky posted no points, no assists, 22 total shifts, three total hits, won four of eleven faceoffs, and a -1.

Report Card


How would you grade Brandon Dubinsky’s 2018-19 season?

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